Top 5 Dissection Clones

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, lists On: Monday, January 12th, 2015

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5. Bane
Originally from Serbia but now located in Canada, death/black metallers Bane (possible connection to album title Storm of the Light’s Bane, but none to the Massachusetts-based hardcore band of the same name) take only the fastest, brutalist, sickest moments in Dissection’s oeuvre for the The Acausal Fire album. Actually, that’s not true, Bane are well versed in Nödtveidt-styled (and by extension former axeman Zwetsloot) melancholic harmonies. Released in ’12 on cult indie Abyss Records, it’s likely most Dissection acolytes never heard The Acausal Fire (or Bane, for that matter). From “The End of Humanity” to “Existence in Denial”, the complex bombast of The Acausal Fire should make Bane a new favorite. Closing with a cover of “Night’s Blood” wasn’t a bad move either.


4. Stortregn
Swiss death/black metallers are of recent vintage (formed in 2005) but are relatively unknown. The quartet’s most recent album, Evocation of Light, hit metaldom in 2013 on French indie Great Dane Records. Clearly, they couldn’t get enough of Dissection’s Storm of the Light’s Bane era, having cloned Dissection’s classical-styled attack and Necrolord “blue” cover concept in respectable fashion. Though Stortregn (means “downpour” in Swedish) could do better in the name and drum departments, they satisfy the urge to hear Dissection when “When Dead Angels Lie”, “Night’s Blood”, “Thorns of Crimson Death”, and “Unhallowed” have outplayed their welcome (doubtful, but potentially possible).


3. Death Tyrant
What happens when members of Lord Belial, Trident (featuring ex-Dissection six-stringer Johan Norman), and Satanized come together in the Year of the Tiger? They form a band called Death Tyrant. Not too far removed from Dissection in the melody and aggression department, the Swedes only album—Opus de Tyranis—is a killer. Focus track “Ixion – The Fallen Kings of the Laphits” is really all you need to hear from Death Tyrant. But there’s no reason to not check out opener “The Awakening of Sleeping Gods” or end-of-album track “A Greater Alliance” for a solid dose of Dissection-esque death.


2. Cardinal Sin
When John Zwetsloot left Dissection in ’94, he resurfaced two years later in Cardinal Sin, a band he formed with Decameron, Marduk, Allegiance, The Ancient’s Rebirth members. A killer demo (officially unreleased) followed in tape-trading circles. When debut EP, Spiteful Intents, surfaced in ’96, it was pretty clear who was spearheading the songwriting (Zwetsloot), but there was a Marduk-like directness to the music. Though only four tracks and released on vanguard (but poorly managed) Wrong Again Records, Spiteful Intents represents melodic Swedish death/black without the corpsepaint or overt overtures to Satan. Sadly, the group faded from memory after the EP and have since reformed with no clear indication of releasing music. Fans (limited to maybe 2000 worldwide) have been waiting since 2003, actually.


1. Thulcandra
Steffen Kummerer is better known as the lead ripper in Obscura. But he has a dark side. One that involves—directly—a near-fatal attraction to Jon Nödtveidt, Dissection and its overall aesthetic (pre-Reinkaos). Across three albums (newest album, Ascension Lost, rules!), Kummerer and Thulcandra comprehended, reinterpreted, and released what can only be said as the most accurate homage to Dissection (again, all albums feature Necrolord “blue” covers). The magic of Thulcandra is that they’re really fucking good. It’s not just nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. The Germans are actually writing songs, branched logically off of Storm of the Light’s Bane and predecessor The Somberlain. If Reinkaos wasn’t Dissection’s proper send off, then Thulcandra’s entire discography surely is.

** Other clones of interest are Soulreaper, Decameron, Sacramentum, Noctes, Frozen, and Blot Mine.

Encrotchment With Eddie Gobbo From Jar’d Loose: Divisional Weekend

By: andrew Posted in: encrotchment, featured On: Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Rage Against the Machine, Arizona Concert Watch, 2015

New Millennium Homes

Our first game of the weekend takes place in the House of Pain of Football (hold the Everlast), Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. New England is the serious favorite to win it all. No one is taking Batlimore seriously this year except the cast of The Wire.

This is a “Not Again” game. These teams have faced each other four times in the last six years in the playoffs, for God’s sake! The Pats lost the AFC Championship in 2012 to the Ravens (ultimately leading to a Super Bowl championship for Baltimore), and they haven’t forgotten it. It’s going to take a special team to go in to blindside the Pats after a first round bye. Is Baltimore that special team? Well, basically they’re the same team they were in 2012 minus two Rays of sunshine: Lewis and Rice.

Joe Flacco: good quarterback, bad date. He is going to sling it to Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Steve and Torrey), and that will lead to the key battle in this game, ultimately deciding the victor. If Baltimore’s wideouts can win the outside and deep matchup against the New England secondary, they have a good chance to win. The only problem is New England’s secondary is rested and ready for the test. Can’t wait to see the matchup between Darrelle Revis and Steve Smith, Sr., two borderline future Hall of Famers that find themselves in a massive game trying to outduel one another.

Tom Brady is going to go into this like it’s his game to lose. Well, it really isn’t. Baltimore’s defense knows who Brady is, and are not going to let him beat them. They are going to clamp down on the deep ball, make their tackles and force New England’s odd four-headed monster at running back to win a battle against their front four to gain yards.

Also, for the record, I’ve been having a recurring vision of Stephen Gostkowski missing a big field goal at some point during these playoffs.

This game is a tough one to pick. Avoid it if you can.

I won’t, I’m sure.

Baltimore +7 over New England

The Fraiser Theme Song

I loved the Carolina Panthers last week, and they made good like any home team in the playoffs playing against a team with a third-string quarterback should. Good work, guys. Well done!

I’m not sure if any of you actually watched that game, but Arizona basically should have won, which is disturbing. They had two significant turnovers in that game, including an interception in the red zone and a fumble at the goal line. If you’re relying on boneheaded mistakes to win playoffs games, good luck.

The only chance Carolina has is if their run game of Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Cam Newton click massively against Seattle’s D-Line, which, believe it or not, is the weakness of their defense (haha). It for sure isn’t Seattle’s secondary, which is the best in the league, and will be responsible for containing Newton’s only legit receiving threat, Pro Bowler Greg Olsen.

Right now, Carolina is trying to put the game in the hands of their defense, which is stout and lead by the new Brian Urlacher, LUUUUUUUUUKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEE Whathisname. When you’re playing a team as mistake-free as Seattle with Russell Wilson at the helm, though, defense-forced mistakes are few and never between.

Flannel will fly on Saturday night.

Lane Staley -9.5 over Ric Flair

Boys Will Be Boys. Bad Boys. Bad Boys.

Now, I know I’ve said something rude about the Packers, well, literally every week since this column started. I apologize for that. When a person in a Jordy Nelson jersey shows up outside my condo at 2 a.m. leaving a burning stuffed dummy with “Eddie Gobbo” written on it, what do you expect me to do?

I know who the Packers are: a well-rounded machine who’s been there and done that. They love playing a noon (thanks, NFL scheduler from hell), they love playing against unproven teams, and they love watching reruns of Jeopardy they’ve already seen with friends, to make themselves seem smarter than they actually are.

Their Texas opponent this week is unproven, weird, has a weird owner, and is led by a guy whose spinal discs are like chocolate gold coins on a hot day.

That said, you guessed it, I’m picking Dallas in this one. They did something unbelievably dumb last week and survived: They let Detroit run up a big lead on them, and they had to claw back. If they do this with the Pack this week, they lose. They know this, and won’t let deja vu happen. Dallas is going to come out, run the ball, show the Pack they aren’t scared, and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.

This game will be tight, and eventually the third quarter will bring some separation by Dallas. If Dallas is still in it by the fourth, it’s going to come down to having to a few pivotal defensive stands with Rodgers in a no-huddle, and eventually a hurry-up.

It’s going to be colder than a Green Bay girl this week at Lambeau. Dallas won’t like this. However, the only offensive weapon that travels well in cold is the run game, and Dallas is lucky they have a great one.

Dallas + 6.5 over the statistically-placed dummy burners

Denver, the Last Dinosaur

You ever try to tell an old guy that “times have changed” and that he’s “worthless” and “should just die already”? They usually don’t like that.

Well, this week, Andrew Luck is going to have to go in to Denver and do that. If there’s one guy who can go into Denver, reference age and skills, and mean it, it’s the Lucky Man. Actually, he’ll probably just send Adam Vinatieri to do it, who is hitting 52-yard field goals at the age of 53.

If I were playing the Colts this week, I’d be DEATHLY afraid of them. They looked the best out of any team that played last week, even with mistakes in tow. T.Y. Hilton dropped some passes in the first half, and Boom Herron did have a big fumble in the first half. But once the cobwebs were out, Indy was in. Unfortunately for Indy, they don’t play Cincy this week.

Denver NEEDS to commit to the run game early, grind out clock, and set up TE Julius Thomas for a good game, like the kind he’s had in his sleep the last two years.

If they do this, Denver wins easy. If they don’t, Denver still probably ekes it out.

I love the Colts and am a better man knowing Andrew Luck breathes the same air as me. But screw him.

Denver -7 (sad face) over Indy

Daily Affirmation, With Stuart Scott

And finally this week, I wanted to address something extremely heartbreaking that happened this past Sunday. Stuart Scott, longtime ESPN anchorman, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

When I was a kid, I used to get up super early to watch an hour of SportsCenter before heading off to grade school and zoning out in a desk made by a Polish woodsman in 1955 for eight hours. Scott was arguably the flagship narrator of said program.

I grew up in the ’90s. A transitional decade, if you will, where people started respecting intelligence. The ’80s was filled with two types of people: smart people and cool people. Motley Crue could barely form a sentence. Tom Snyder could form many sentences. But there was never any doubt as to who you’d hang out with if given the chance.

Enter people like Stuart Scott: the smart, sassy, urban-centered sports genius of ESPN. He knew everything there was to know about sports, articulating everything like the University of North Carolina graduate he was, and at the same time had the foresight to realize who his demographic was: us kids. He’d talk to us not like a dad, but an older cousin. He’d slip a reference to Martin or Tupac, and would yell out one-liners at the top of his lungs, sort of like everyone’s favorite comedian at the time, Chris Farley. I liked Phil Anselmo growing up. I like Ric Flair growing up. Stuart Scott was without a doubt cut from that same fearless and boisterous cloth.

In 2002, a friend came up to me at college and said that Scott had injured his eye really bad. He had got hit with a football in the eye during a New York Jets mini-camp. We both looked at each other super bummed, but we knew he would overcome whatever injury it was. From then on, Scott did the majority of his broadcasts wearing a pair of spectacles, diverting attention from his injured eye.

I just assumed the same thing would happen when I found out Scott had cancer in the late 2000s. It would be an inconvenience for us, and certainly for him and his family, but ultimately he’d persevere and die of natural causes in his 80s. Much like this eye injury, the cancer battle brought Scott a modified look. He was noticeably thinner for the last several years. But that said, he was always there, working in some shape or form, until this Sunday.

As kids, we all are forced in to sports by society. Most of us think we’re going to go pro the first time we pick up a basketball. Then we realize we suck and that playing sports are not going to be part of our lives past grade school. We then find ourselves at a crossroads: Do I enjoy sports enough to support this, even though I truly won’t be able to experience this in the way I have my whole life up to this point? Because of a guy like Stuart Scott, I never questioned whether my love of sports would carry on in to my adult life.

Bye for now, Stuart.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12118361

VIDEO PREMIERE: Incantation “Impalement of Divinity”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, videos On: Friday, January 9th, 2015

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“We have unleashed our new video upon humanity,” says Incantation frontman/death metal legend John McEntee. “Brought to you by the tireless efforts of Black Arts Media and filmed at the Vermillion Haunted School House in Ohio. Many thanks for allowing us the use of your establishment. For it’s notable aggression and speed, amidst the albums other tracks, we’ve chosen “Impalement of Divinity”! Bringing visual blasphemy to our most recent release Dirges of Elysium with commemorative 25th anniversary graphics throughout. Let this praise of the infernal be for all of you who made our path this quarter century such as it is.”

We couldn’t have said it better (or more evil) ourselves, so without further whips, chains, and inverted crosses, we bring you, with much fire and death, the video for Incantation’s “Impalement of Divinity”.

** Incantation’s new album, Dirges of Elysium, is out now on Listenable Records. It’s available HERE in a variety of infernal formats.

Devin Townsend Interview: Part 1

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Last month, Devin Townsend and his madcap Project went out on tour with Animals As Leaders and Monuments.  Decibel made sure to catch the show when it came to Baltimore, and we were not disappointed.  Long-lived set favorites like “Bad Devil” and “Regulator” stormed over the crowd, while much of the rest of the evening was driven by new Sky Blue and Dark Matters songs like “A New Reign” and “March of the Poozers.”  The energetic audience surged and surfed through every one of Townsend’s crazy comments and gummy facial farces.

More enlightening by far, though, was our pre-show conversation with Townsend during AAL’s soundcheck.  Over the course of 45 minutes, we talked about Townsend’s thoughts about his past, present and future career and honed in on his satisfaction and frustration regarding where his music has taken him.  We separated the discussion into more easily digestible (though still sizeable) sections, which we will present to you over the next couple weeks.  We were most interested in the story Townsend told during last part of the conversation, though we think the interview makes more sense in order, so that piece will wait for a little while.

Today, Part 1 of the interview illuminates Townsend’s ever more tenuous relationship with the metal scene and his initial thoughts about what that means for his personal musical pursuits.  Enjoy, and tune back in next week for the next segment, in which Townsend reflects on what he feels were his best musical achievements.

How do you feel about the tour so far?

[Shrugs] Twenty-five years of it, man. You know? I spent a nice day yesterday doing fuck-all in a hotel, and it was wonderful. Between recording and money and kids and life and everything, I’ve had two weeks of happily waking up and my daily work entails finding a place to poop and then lunch and then screaming at people for an hour and going to bed. It’s been okay, yeah, I’m enjoying myself.

How much time, this year, have you spent playing shows, and how much have you been able to spend at home?

I haven’t played as much this year as we had, perhaps, in some prior years, but it was a ton of recording and a ton of the pledge campaigns and stuff. The amount of interviews I did over the past… not recently, but there was like two months of just all-day interviews. And family and house and all that sort of stuff, it’s been a real full year. And there’s been some drama, too, which sort of compounded some things that might not have been as difficult. But towards the end of making this new record that I made… I mean, I’ve made so many fucking records.

[Sarcastically] Unfortunately, you only put out three albums this year, right?

Four! [Casualties of Cool and Z2] are both doubles. Casualties is a record that I really like. It’s too long, but it’s really good, right? By doing this professionally, by putting yourself out there, you take good comments and criticisms. The one criticism that I totally agreed with the other day was like, “That fucking guy should just retire!” And I thought to myself, “Yeah, that sounds great. You’re totally right!” I just can’t.

I’m hoping that I can spend a couple years on the next record, because the Ziltoid thing I just did, I think it’s actually really good, but I just didn’t want to make a record! I was like, “Fuck, are you serious, man?” I’d just finished Casualties, I’ve got all this crowd-sourcing shit to do. But we have touring opportunities and the Ziltoid thing is something I really wanted to do for a long time, and having money from the crowd-sourcing to do it was like, now it’s time to make the record, but fuck me, dude…

So you went for it. Was it more for making sure that other people kept earning?

There’s a part of that, for sure. But there’s also a part of me that really wanted to do the puppet thing. But the way that it works now is that, on tour, you’ve got to be promoting something, there’s music and new shows and all this sort of stuff. But if I had a lot of money right now, I would probably not be doing anything. I’d probably be playing on a telecaster and slowly writing something that sounds like Casualties, you know? Maybe do some symphonic sort of stuff.

It’s been twenty-five years of it, man, and like I said at the beginning of the interview, I’m really happy, I really am. I often have to pinch myself, that I even have relevance of any sort. I get to do all sorts of cool shit, I get tons of free toys and it’s great. My family’s healthy and I’m healthy. It’s great. So looking at it from that point of view, yeah, it’s awesome. But to me, I don’t think I’ve been relevant to the metal scene for years. It’s funny because sometimes folks go out of their way to try and defend me, and I’m like, “No, don’t, dude.” I’m making puppets and fart jokes, and it’s not because I’m trying to be provocative or I’m lazy or whatever. It’s just less about music for me now than it is about making Tetris pieces work melodically.

Really?

I’ve been fucking bored for so many years, dude. Now I’ll take ideas, concepts, melodies, or rhythms and I sort of twist them until they turn into something. There are some elements of Sky Blue where it was really an emotional thing for me still, but there’s a part of me that really just wants to be quiet. I love to entertain people, and after twenty-five years and thirty records I’ve got a catalog of shit that can do so, but it’s less so about music now than it was in the past.

Again, that’s not meant to sound disinterested or flippant about it, because I do love music, but my tastes are in this state of flux, and because of the level of activity that we’ve had to maintain to keep everybody’s wages and everything going, I haven’t had a chance just to sort of think about, “Who am I? Where am I at in what I want to do?” I think if I did do that, it would probably be really dark, really quiet, I wouldn’t sing that much, and there’d be a symphony involved. But it’s going to take some time for me to sit with it. And now, like yesterday I had a full day in a hotel, and I’m like, “You should really think about it… Nah…”

Not now.

But I really do like putting puzzles together, right now, in lieu of being really present with my personality and being able to have the time to articulate myself in ways that are more like the 42-year-old introvert that I’ve become. I still have the ability and the desire to do these metal things, and the puppets and weird melodies and structures that aren’t here nor there. There’s another part of me that really likes experimenting with really standard structures. Like Epicloud and all that stuff, it’s all just Maroon 5 shit. But I was interested in it for a while. I was like, “What if we just listened to the radio – Usher and all that shit – and take all those structures and then do your own thing?” So I did. And I like it. And I was still able to be emotionally involved with it, to the point where I listened to it and it really says what I want it to say.

But musically, man, I still really like Massive Attack, folk music, native stuff, things that are really sort of tribal. Every now and then I’ll hear things in metal that I like, but it’s few and far between. I heard some Blut Aus Nord stuff this morning that was cool. And I really like Gojira, but only for a little while, and I love Meshuggah, of course, but only for half a song. So when it comes down to writing now, I’m still really interested in the process, but it’s become – over the past five years, I’d say – it’s been the process more than music for me because I’ve been too busy.

But, again, I love it. It’s just if someone was to drop a lot of money on me right now, I’m not sure what I would do. I think I would probably go on vacation for a long time and I’d play a lot of guitar, and I’d probably learn to be quiet in ways that I’m too predisposed with emails and work right now to do.

So playing is still something that you enjoy.

I love music. I love music. But it’s really less about songs all of a sudden now. I just want to do improv. I think that’s what’s changed. I think there was a period there where I really heard songs, constantly. Now… I don’t know if it’s like a conscious thing that I’ve tried to train myself out of… because music, for me, has never been to sit and write. Patterns get into my head and they loop until they make me crazy so I write it to purge it, but that’s sort of stopped happening.

Now I love just playing and forgetting about it, just letting it go and letting it go and letting it go. But I find that my improv stuff is quiet and really minimal. And I like the support role – for a while there I thought I’d like to play bass, but I’m just not that good of a bass player, you know? But I’m a good guitar player when it comes to articulating my ideas. So I think now it’s this point where I’m trying to figure myself out. But in the meantime, shit, people like the show and there’s a few songs that I still really feel strongly about. So, yeah, we keep doing it. And the fact that I tour with bands that are young or hip or whatever… I don’t know how that happens.

I think your stuff is very well received.

Don’t get me wrong – I put everything I’ve got into it. But the things that I’ve got now are different than they once were. There’s a certain element of what I do musically that is not musical at all. It’s just puzzles. And I really enjoy that. The Ziltoid-type music or Deconstruction-type music, it’s not music, it’s puzzles. Just strictly on a technical level, I really find doing that satisfying, but there’s a lot of folks – even in my management/label/band – that just don’t like the sound of it. So you’re put in this position, “How do I do that?” So, for me, you put voices on it and make a story out of it and kids’ll like it.

But the things that I really am drawn to are like the song on the Casualties record called “Moon.” I think that song’s really good. That’s one of the songs that I’ve done recently – maybe once it gets a little louder I lose interest in it – but that really sparse… like, you hit a note on a clean guitar that lasts for a long time while dissonant things happen, and then the vocals don’t say anything, but the intention says something… I really like that. But I’m in the minority. It seems like people really want you to yell.

You happen to play for an audience who is use to that, and a lot of that audience is not interested in hearing melodic stuff, low key stuff…

But that is also the audience that has allowed me to do the things that are like that. I see some bands that are distancing themselves from their metal, and I’m not comfortable with that, because I still like it! It’s just, the problem is the ways that I can keep my interest in it now are things that are very, sort of, in opposition to what a metal scene would probably require: song-based, the anger, and all these sorts of things. I still like metal, but it’s turned much more into, “Here’s a melodic thing that doesn’t really work with this rhythmic thing, but if you do this and you add this, it kinda does.” I find that fascinating, in a way. So it’s a transition period for me, I think. I was just washing up and I’m thinking about what I think of this tour. And it’s neither here nor there. You’re neither here nor there in your career right now. It’s not like you’re really making a defined statement, it’s not that you’re at the top of your game, it’s not like you’re at the bottom of your game. You’re better than you were, in some ways. You’re completely absent in ways that you maybe once were. I’m happy, and I’m also sad.

Playing Catch Up (Again) with Rottenness

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews On: Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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“Mexican-American death/grind bands, like to answer telephones and say hello to Decibel hacks on the other end…” It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Mexico’s Rottenness. Breaking up for a short spell during 2012 didn’t help their cause, but the band is back with a new line-up and album in the wings. Gone are the disorganized, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-cargo-shorts days where they once found themselves stranded in Texas after a tour with the realization they spent too much on road booze and didn’t have enough money to go home. Rottenness is a completely different beast these days: stronger, more mature and more focused than ever. The band is now two-thirds American, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the pieces of the smarts puzzle being put into place (I kid, I kid, settle down) and…well, I don’t want to spoil the surprises that guitarist, lone original member, guiding light and spiritual force, Jaleel “Jay Garbage” Castillo reveals during his ongoing quest to stay sick and grind on.

Let’s start from the top. Who’s in the band now?
Well, Ben Pitts [bass/vocals] from Denver. He’s been with me in the band for the last four years and he did the new album with me. On drums we have Ramon Cazares from Amarillo, TX and he’s actually also the singer/bassist for Abolishment of Flesh. We’ve been together for about a year or so now and it’s been good. I finally have a steady line-up!

So, there are no other Mexicans in the Mexican band?
[laughs] Yeah, I guess I’m like the last of the Mohicans. I tried to call a couple of Mexican friends, but I don’t know if it’s the economy or whatever, but everyone says they don’t have money or they don’t want to tour or they have a family situation. It’s the same thing over and over and I just got tired with it and decided to call some people from other countries. In the United States there are more people who are focused, into the music and willing to go on the road. But now whenever we bill the band, it’s “Rottenness from Mexico-USA” so everyone knows we have Americans in the line up.

How does that set-up work when it comes to song writing and rehearsing?
I start by writing all the music and send tracks via the internet to the other guys. For the new album, what I did was I worked with [drummer] Kevin Talley first. He did the drum tracks, then I finished the guitars, then I sent it to the guys and they learned everything. For the tour we did last summer, we just got together for like a week before and started rehearsing.

Does having Americans in the band change your focus as far where you’re touring? Are you going to be focusing on playing more in the U.S. instead of Mexico?
We try to play as much as possible wherever we can or receive an offer. This year we did the United States and Mexico. It’s easier to do the United States now because I’m the only one travelling. The other guys are already there, they know the scene and it’s easier to book shows now.

And what can you tell us about the new record?
We’re really happy! I think we started about a year-and-a-half ago. Thanks to Kevin Talley, we received the drum tracks a year ago or so. We were into it, but every time I’d listen to the new stuff I’d always be like, “Nah, I’m going to change this and change that.” So, finally what we did was rearrange all the songs and in the summer I went to Denver to nail down the last arrangements and vocal lines with Ben and we just finished it. Kevin went on tour with Suffocation and we’re just waiting for him to fill in some spots and do the final mixes, so I think it will come out in February or March right before we do a tour of the states in March. Everything went good; we’re greatly satisfied with what Kevin did and the new songs and I think everything is at a different level.

As unlikely as it would be, I gotta ask if there was ever talk of Kevin joining the band?
It never went through my head to have him join the band. He’s first level, the big leagues and everything, and having him is going to cost me a lot of money because he’s receiving offers from bigger bands all the time. If we’re just doing festivals or something, then I might consider it, but we were so happy with Ramon. He did a great job doing Kevin’s stuff live on the last tour. Plus, Ramon is more available to us than Kevin.

What’s the album’s title?
A Perpetual State of Destruction.

deciblog - rottenness album shirt

Judging by that, it would appear you’ve moved away from the gore/porno-grind themes?
Yeah. On the last couple of tours we did, I saw the gore and sex lyrics being a trend thing and I guess I kind of got fed up with it. So, between Ben and I we decided to more intelligent lyrics – which we hopefully succeeded at. I also started looking at bands like Disgorge USA and Cephalic Carnage, where their lyrics have some humour to them. So, we’re trying to avoid the gore situation and do more mature and more interesting lyrics.

Who’s putting it out?
Ossuary Industries. We were supposed to give them the album last summer, but because of all the changes we delayed it. Plus, Tony Koehl is doing the album cover art – he’s the guy who’s done Black Dahlia Murder and Malignancy – and it’s going to be a different style of cover art that’s trying to avoid all the clichés. We’re just trying to improve as much as we can in all aspects.

How did the touring over the past year go?
Last year we did three tours. We did one in Mexico with Fuck the Facts and Landmine Marathon that was two-and-a-half weeks. We did another two week mini-tour in Texas and the three week American tour in the summer. For us, we played a lot of new places we hadn’t been; we played on the east coast, we did the New York Deathfest, we played in Boston, Buffalo, North Carolina, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and we finished the tour by playing the Denver Black Sky Fest. I think it was one of our best tours; the band was more focussed, the band sounded more professional and playing new places and venues in front of new people, everyone was having fun and enjoying it. We try to do as much as possible, reach new people and get on the road as much as we can. We’re doing another three week one in March. We’re starting in Tampa and we’re going to do the whole east coast, the mid-west and then the west coast. We’re going to do a big circle around the country.

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For your upcoming Mexican tour, did you find it easier to book considering how much you have toured and are you starting to play bigger venues?
Actually, I was talking to my girlfriend about this last night. Even though we book our own tours and shows, getting a bigger name in Mexico is hard. That’s what I say all the time; you need to be a band that’s always on the road because people will forget about you. We need to do as much as possible, not only with our band, but also with our booking agency so everybody knows we’re doing shows. It’s not that hard and wouldn’t be that hard to get shows in bigger venues. We have the contacts and the CDs, but the economy in Mexico is really bad so it’s not really affordable to do tours with bigger bands in bigger venues. For example, Suffocation and Cryptopsy toured Mexico recently, but they only played two or three shows. Why can’t a bigger band like Suffocation come here and do a whole two or three week tour? But there’s no money for that. So, we keep it to DIY tours and that’s why I like to book bands that, first, are friends and, second, we really like the music. We know they’ll have a good time in Mexico. In past experiences, we’ve brought bands that didn’t enjoy anything and just complained. What we do is bring bands that really enjoy travelling around the world so they can have fun and play some shows. It’s the same for Rottenness; we try and play as much as possible and put the name out that we’ll play here and there and travel to play with this or that band. We want to be seen as the band that will always go on tour rather than just sitting in a basement saying, “Call us when you have a show.” I’d rather pick up the phone and say, “Hey, we want to play that show.”

Have you noticed any differences between Mexican and American shows, tours and people?
The people are different, definitely. I think, due to the lack of underground shows with international bands, people here are more into the music and want to discover your music. People will be more into wanting to shake your hand, asking for photographs or to sign their CD and stuff like that. People are more into that sort of stuff and they appreciate when you come to their town. In the states, they have more shows and shows every day. You can play on a Monday or Tuesday and there will 30-50 people there, but it’s a tough country to conquer.

For videos, tunes, photos, a shit-load of everything, check ‘em out on Facebook

Hate Premiere New Video for “Valley of Darkness”

By: Dan Lake Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen, videos On: Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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Polish black-death stalwarts Hate are set to drop their latest album, Crusade: Zero, on a very suspecting public on February 10th, and today they show off their video for the song “Valley of Darkness” here at the Deciblog.  Religious iconography will burn.  Fire (and salvation) will be breathed.  Corpses will be painted.  Beats will blast.  Lenses will shake.  Heads will bang.

 

Head over to iTunes or to Amazon for an early crack at getting Crusade: Zero.

INTERVIEW: Justin Jackson (Rosetta: Audio/Visual)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews On: Thursday, January 8th, 2015

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Christmas Day 2014 brought Rosetta fans–and really to anyone who likes a good story–a special gift in the form of Rosetta: Audio/Visual. The 65 minute documentary not only delves into the Philadelphia quartet’s history, but happens to capture the group at its most critical juncture. At its heart, the doc is just a story about four guys who love playing music, and a rather compelling one at that. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with filmmaker Justin Jackson and pepper him with some questions.

You can check out more about the project and buy a digital copy here.

Briefly walk us through the project from conception to completion. For instance, I know what you originally set out to do (a short portrait of the band) is not exactly how things ended up.
I was between creative projects in the winter of 2010/2011, and I really wanted to do something that married my vocation (documentary filmmaking/video production) and my biggest passion (music) together into one piece of work. I was, and still am, a fan of Rosetta, and I knew they lived in Philly – a location within a commutable distance – and I really had no idea what themes would develop, who would present well on camera, or if there was even a story to tell. As a documentary filmmaker, I find it’s best not to enter projects with preconceived notions. Initially, I felt the best possible outcome would be a ten or twenty minute short film that would profile the band.

After filming a couple shows and interviews, it really became apparent to me that this band was going through a very important transition. Moreover, each band member was personally going through a series of important changes/realizations, and I was at the right place/right time to capture it. There was a real story from which a feature length film could be made. When I say story, I’m speaking in terms of screenplay principles: inciting incident, conflict, protagonist, three act structure, controlling ideas, binary story values, etc.

I had no idea in late 2010 that I was about to embark on a film that would tell the story of what was, to that point, Rosetta’s biggest decision of their career. I also had no idea I was about to make several new amazing friends that would enrich my life for years to come. The guys in Rosetta and the people in their circle are fantastic; I consider myself lucky to have become friends with such great people.

Were you surprised that the band was open to the project, both initially and as some of the storylines started to develop/be revealed? You see the guys deal with some really heavy stuff.
At first, ABSOLUTELY. All of the guys were immediately warm and inviting. As an outsider with a camera, I had never experienced that kind of warmth, hospitality, and acceptance. It was amazing. Most of my projects start with either a cold call or an email. I was a complete stranger to the band. That they were immediately so open and inviting is a testament to how giving they are as people.

Each member of the band was always forthcoming about their life experiences. I never had to search for any kind of plot point for this film. Everything that the viewer sees in the film was mentioned by each member, very openly, during interviews. Part of my method is to interview with very open-ended questions. I think leading questions can both manipulate and limit what your subject can tell you. Rosetta wanted to share their story and my job was to allow the story to unfold the way it wanted.

One thing that did surprise me occurred during the recording sessions for The Anaesthete. I knew that the record was very important to them but I didn’t know the band would break up if the record didn’t recoup studio costs. I learned this halfway into the first day of filming while I was interviewing BJ (drummer). This development floored me. Immediately my shooting schedule went out the window for the remaining three days I was there. I knew I had to rethink my filming strategy in order to really convey the mood of those recording sessions, and I really ramped up my productivity for the remainder of that shoot. As it happens, the Anaesthete shoot is my single proudest production as a documentarian – what a great privilege to be in the trenches with such an amazing band!

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Were you aware of the label situation going into the project? As it became the film’s overarching thread, were you concerned that people would not be willing to talk about a rift that has obviously impacted their lives?
I was not aware of the business/personal relationship Rosetta had with Translation Loss Records prior to filming. However, the very first interview I did for the film was with Armine (vocalist) and at that time he was obviously very upset about the state of his relationship with Translation Loss. Armine provided me with all of the details very early on in the process. Because this was the way I found out about that particular relationship, I was not worried about members of Rosetta not talking about the situation. I would never want anyone to talk about something they do not wish to reveal. The guys in the band were always open about their relationship with the label. Moreover, they always made it a point to note how much they appreciated Translation Loss and how they, Rosetta, had a part to play in the dissolution of that relationship.

One thing I would like to point out involves how I structured the story. The most traditional screenplay structure is one in which there is a protagonist (the hero who wants something) and an antagonist (the villain preventing the hero from achieving his/her goal). In Rosetta: Audio/Visual, there are dual protagonists – both Rosetta and Translation Loss are the protagonists. The real villain of this story, if there is one, is the music industry as that is what is getting in the way of their relationship. Drew [Juergens] from Translation Loss is such a sweet guy and he was so giving in his interview. I just do not see those guys as anything but upstanding and humble. It’s the story of Translation Loss as much as it’s the story of Rosetta.

As much as this is a film about Rosetta, it’s also about the trials and tribulations of being in a band. Is there one thing you hope new bands starting out can glean from your work and Rosetta’s story?
This is a very good question and one that I had not thought of until you posed it. As someone who is not part of a band or the “music industry”, I always looked at this from the perspective of a non-musician. Therefore, my goal was to really show viewers what being a musician is like in today’s music climate. From the film’s inception I made it a point to turn the “rock doc” genre on its head. There is no sex. There are no drugs. There is no excess. This is a film about a group of four individuals in a working class band and two guys who own a working class label, all of whom sacrifice their time, money, and health in order to express themselves through music. In other words, unless you’re in the top 1% of recording artists, you’re not going to be rich and famous.

In terms of new bands, my hope is that the music of Rosetta inspires them to be more experimental with their music and take more artistic chances. It is also my hope that vocalists do everything they can to train and take care of their vocal chords. Armine does a great deal of work staying in shape and keeping his vocal chords healthy.

You released the film on Christmas Day. What has the reaction been like so far, both from fans and the band?
It was kind of a crazy idea to release on Christmas Day, but the schedule just worked out that way. We released the film primarily as a digital download starting at $9.99 with the pay-what-you-wish model. We will be selling physical copies early this year. No specific date yet but right now we’re aiming for mid-February. Our release method is a way of honoring the approach Rosetta takes when releasing their music.

Reaction from fans and viewers has been very, very positive. This is the most enjoyable part of making a film. Seeing your project have a positive impact on lives is a very unique and rewarding experience. I would say more than half of our viewers are from overseas. I never thought I’d make a film that would have an impact on someone from the Eastern Bloc or China. It’s incredible and something all of us on the team appreciate very much.

As far as the band’s response goes, Dave (bassist) sent me a very warm and positive text right after he watched it. That meant a great deal to me.

IndieGogo played a large role in this project — tell us a little why you decided to go that route. Were you surprised by the level of support?
The IndieGogo campaign we had for the film was huge, and I cannot overstate how important it was. The film would not have been possible without it. I knew that Rosetta had done a Kickstarter for their split with Junius and I saw how passionate the fans were. As this was a project I started purely based on love for this band, I thought the fans would be receptive to the campaign.

Production for the film wrapped in late 2013. In order to make a film worthy of Rosetta, I knew I would need more money to finish the film. A large part of the completion of the film involved sound design and sound mixing on a stage in Burbank, CA. I cannot stress how important audio is in a movie, especially when music is a central character in a film. When audio is poor, a viewer notices it. When audio is great, it tends to go unnoticed, at least on a conscious level. In this way, sound design is a very unsung art form so I feel compelled to praise the work of J.M. Davey (the sound designer on the film). Davey is a close personal friend and we have collaborated in the past. We had several preliminary conversations revolving around what he and I wanted to accomplish. After those conversations took place I knew there was no way we could fund the remainder of the film. It was at this point, probably in the late spring of 2014, that I started planning our Indiegogo campaign. We put a lot of thought into the packages we offered contributors and we really wanted to offer each contributor a personal and unique experience. I believe that fans have a right to be in direct contact with the artist and it was my goal to empower the fan/contributor with the rewards we offered. We wanted there to be a benefit to contributing to the film’s creation.

I was surprised at how well the Indiegogo campaign did. Our goal was $6,000. We raised just under $8,000. It was remarkable and I cannot thank all of our supporters enough for believing in this film.

What’s next for you project-wise?
My next documentary will be a feature on Sokol Todi, an Albanian neuroscientist who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The film will explore his personal as well as professional relationships along with his scientific research. Sokol has his own lab at Wayne State University, where he also teaches, and is using fruit flies in hopes of identifying proteins/genes that cause Ataxia and dementia. Millions of people are afflicted by the diseases he’s researching. Sokol is an amazing human being – super intelligent, unbelievably kind, and immeasurably supportive. To say I’m excited about this film is a huge understatement.

Justin Jackson
Justin Jackson

Film website
Purchase page
Justin’s personal webpage

You can also pick up a copy of Rosetta’s original score for the documentary here. All the revenue from the score album will go directly to the recording sessions for Rosetta’s next full length.

Video Premiere: Karma To Burn’s “57”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, tours, videos On: Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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Post-holiday doldrums. The coldest time of the year, especially with climate change. It’s time for your favorite band to get the 30-year-old van out of the garage and challenge ice storms and snowpiles to play for your benefit.

West Virginia’s favorite sons Karma To Burn will be one of the brave soliders taking to the road in the dead of winter.

As they kick off their ambitious North American tour (thirty-plus shows) tonight, they’ve shared their new live video for the song “57” off Arch Stanton, which is available now.

Check the video out below and then go see them when they play your town — their itinerary follows.

KARMA TO BURN NORTH AMERICAN TOUR 2015:
1/07/2015 Ripper’s Rock House – Akron, OH
1/8/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
1/09/2015 31st Street Pub – Pittsburgh, PA
1/10/2015 Hard Luck Bar – Toronto, ON
1/11/2015 Casa Del Popolo – Montreal, QC
1/12/2015 Higher Ground – Burlington, VT
1/13/2015 Geno’s Rock Club – Portland, ME
1/14/2015 TT the Bear’s – Cambridge, MA
1/15/2015 The Shaskeen – Manchester, NH
1/16/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
1/18/2015 Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD
1/19/2015 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
1/20/2015 Pour House Music Hall – Raleigh, NC
1/21/2015 The Earl – East Atlanta, GA
1/22/2015 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
1/23/2015 Mangos – Houston, TX
1/24/2015 Mohawk – Austin, TX
1/25/2015 Double Wide – Dallas, TX
1/27/2015 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
1/28/2015 The Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
1/30/2015 Loaded – Hollywood, CA
1/31/2015 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
2/01/2015 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
2/03/2015 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
2/04/2015 Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
2/06/2015 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
2/07/2015 The Shredder – Boise, ID
2/08/2015 Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
2/09/2015 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
2/10/2015 Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2015 Fubar – St Louis, MO
2/12/2015 Red Line Tap – Chicago, IL
2/13/2015 123 Pleasant Street – Morgantown, WV

Streaming: Mansion, ‘Uncreation’

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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One of yours truly’s favorite musical discoveries of 2013, enigmatic Finland doom collective Mansion made an immediate impression on the debut EP We Shall Live, and turned in a stunning live performance at the Roadburn Festival last April. The band had been working on new material throughout 2014, and eight months after the seven-inch release Congregation Hymns Vol. 1, have served up another helping of Kartanoist-themed dogma in the form of the spellbinding new record Uncreation.

Comprised of four tracks but clocking in at 37 minutes, Uncreation actually qualifies as a proper album rather than an EP, and is plenty good enough to hold up alongside the best albums of 2014. It’s a shame that it came out so quietly and under the radar in mid-December, but it’s never too late to listen to great music. Besides, that’s what January’s for: catching up on music you might have missed throughout the previous year.

Once again, Uncreation finds the members of Mansion delve into the doomsday cult philosophy of Alma Kartano, who created the Christian sect in Finland in the first half of the 20th century and preached asceticism and warned of the impending wrath of God. It’s a brilliant idea by the band, whose straight-faced approach to the themes lends some delicious mystery to the hypnotic psychedelic doom arrangements. The singer, who has taken the nom de plume Alma, embraces that role fully on record and in concert, and dominates the four tracks on this record with her steely enunciation and solemn, hymnlike singing, especially on the foreboding title track. But then a track like “Divining Rod” comes along, in which she whips herself into a frenzy, her lines crescendoing into cries of ecstasy and religious fervor. Alma and Mansion sells this idea convincingly, which you can hear for yourself below via Bandcamp.

Uncreation is now available on 12” vinyl and as a digital download. Purchase it here.

Gearified by Matt Olivo: Peavey ReValver 4

By: Bruno Guerreiro Posted in: featured, gear, repulsion On: Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Gearified Issue 124  Peavey ReValver 4

**Matt Olivo is the founding guitarist of extreme metal trailblazers Repulsion, whose Horrified LP ranks as Decibel’s #1 grindcore album of all time. Because we know that every reader ever plays guitar, we are bringing his print column to the Deciblog. In issue #124 Matt gave his feedback on the Peavey ReVavlver 4, which “promises virtual insanity.”

We’ve all had the fantasy. You know, the one where you own a state-of-the-art recording studio that’s stacked with every metal amp north of hell. The tracking process then becomes one of selectivity, taste and style instead of “oh, that’s good enough—moving on.” Well, thanks to the staggering accuracy of today’s amp simulation software, it is possible to have that (virtual) recording studio, and if done properly, no one will know the difference. Legendary American amp masters Peavey poured their knowledge of all things amplification into their sonic sim app, ReValver 4. This month, we took a very skeptical look at it, and were surprised by what we found.

Environment
ReValver 4 is a full-feature, professional audio app that happens to be free! That’s right—it costs exactly fuck-all to obtain it. Just download to your Mac or PC and install; then you’re up and running with the two included amp modules, the RIR 2 Lite cabinet simulator, a handful of ACT modules and some effects. From within the app, users can demo all available amp, effects, cabinet and ACT library “modules,” then buy them from the Amp Store, with prices ranging from $1.99-$7.99 for single purchases. The Amp Store generates a license for your purchase and automatically loads it into an available USB thumb drive (not included) connected to your computer. Then, the purchased module is activated and functional. With this method, you selectively build your own amp closet with just the gear you want. Purchase bundles are also an option if you want a wide range of amps at a better price value.

Oh, right—what’s an ACT library?! ReValver 4 boasts this insane feature that utilizes serious white-man magic to process your incoming guitar signal to sound like a handmade acoustic guitar (or a dobro or a classic Les Paul, Strat, etc.). Pretty convincingly, too, and downright handy if you need that instrumental texture for the tune you’re working on, but don’t own the axe.

Under the Hood (The Metal Lowdown)
OK, here’s a few ReValver 4 amps that gave us righteous tone boners: the Angel (ENGL), Peavey 6505+, Michael ACM 900 (Marshall), Peavey Budda Superdrive, Flathill Dual (Mesa), Peavey XXX II and the Herr Demon (Diezel). Every last one of these beasts are instant gratifiers. In addition, the (multitudes of) cabinet modules have mic’ing options, including an incredible collection of virtual mics with placement choices. As if having this level of control wasn’t enough, ReValver 4 enables limited modification of every module’s virtual circuitry. The feature allows users to view an interactive schematic and change electronic components or tubes for tone-changing results!

Summary
Nothing beats having the real thing, but with over 40 amp and cab modules at your fingertips, Peavey’s ReValver 4 software can offer a highly respectable, flexible and full-featured virtual alternative. We reckon ReValver 4 is a valuable tool for home and pro audio production, but if we ever catch any metal musician plugging an axe into a laptop on stage, there will be blood and hair on the walls. Keep it amped! Nuff said.

Price
$0.00

For more info on ReValver 4, go to: http://peavey.com/products/revalver/

For add-on modules, prices vary.